| | AUGUST 201819ness & brand affinity are touching new heights every day. Knowing this, despite the economic slow-down, the international brands are committing to enter India like never before.This has also completely changed the perspective of Inter-national Brands towards India. Strategically, India now is a very important country for most Inter-national Brands (with great poten-tial for future). The growth is un-precedented. But I can assure you that nobody can take this growth as given and it doesn't come easy. Indian customer today is a hybrid generation (please allow me to explain this). They value India's rich cultural tradition as much as they value the new lifestyle. And you cannot take this customer for granted (Actually, you cannot take any customer for granted). From an international brand's perspec-tive, Indian consumer, while con-tinues to experiment, will always come back to product/service/ex-perience that delivers the value of money spent (our roots guide us to spend prudently). What deliv-ers success for a brand is the core brand promise, especially quality and innovation. Not only does the brand promise to build a cult fol-lowing, but also helps retain those footfalls in stores and get them to come back again & again, em-bracing a brand as a part of their life! Hence, customer retention & relationship management be-come the important aspects of a brand's proposition.May I also add that, it would be incorrect to consider India as one market. This huge sub-continent is actually a mix of many varied mar-kets with different cultural, climat-ic and geographical nuances (Have you ever wondered why white has higher off take in Chennai? Or how north responds very quickly to new categories?). India, in most respects, does not correspond to any other market in the World. So what works in this unique coun-try? The answer is `Taking quality as a given'. The following factors genuinely help:Understanding for Various Regions & Psychographics:· Analyze data · Hear and act upon what the consumer says · Ensure great customer service & relations with local touch · Ensure that distinctive Indian warmth Quality > Retention/Loyalty:· Retention is not isolated. The current generation is an influenc-er to the next. And this cycle can continue to patronize you, if you in-novate and continue to deliver the brand promise. Even after having understood & delivered on the above, brands must have a long-term goal rath-er than a short-term quick money perspective. This perhaps is the perspective of most Internation-al premium Brands on consumer side. If we look at the challenges, there is no dearth of it. Amongst many, the biggest challenge an international premium lifestyle brand faces today is the scarcity of premium retail locations at right price. The cost of retail develop-ments is as high as any other part of the World and yet, you cannot have the international pricing for your products (The Indian pric-ing of most international apparel merchandise is one of the lowest, if not the lowest in the World). This hits the bottom line very hard. The rupee devaluation hasn't helped either. But all these challenges are part of the game (alas!). To sum-marise this, I would say that India is a great country with huge poten-tial for quality products, which if delivered with good shopping ex-perience, will continue to shower its blessings. INDIA IS A GREAT COUNTRY WITH HUGE POTENTIAL FOR QUALITY PRODUCTS, WHICH IF DELIVERED WITH GOOD SHOPPING EXPERIENCE, WILL CONTINUE TO SHOWER ITS BLESSINGS
< Page 9 | Page 11 >